Chesapeake Bay Monitoring

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Chesapeake Bay Monitoring

The Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Program measures key components of the ecosystem, including pollutant inputs, water quality, habitat and living resources. The information is vital for evaluating the progress of management actions aimed at restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for determining attainment of water quality criteria and to providing guidance for future actions. Monitoring data is also used for research and efforts to model the Bay ecosystem.
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In order for the State of Maryland to assess management actions aimed at restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and to track the effectiveness of the State’s 40% Nutrient Reduction Strategy (Tributary Strategies), the Department of Natural Resources’ Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment Division is responsible for a comprehensive long-term water quality and habitat monitoring program in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and tidal tributaries.

Bay Monitoring Info:
Water Quality Data
"Eyes on the Bay"
River Input
Water & Habitat
Nutrient Limitation
Ecosystem Processes
Bay Grasses
Tidal Fish
Research Vessel Kerhin
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This program builds on historical monitoring efforts and is coordinated with other state and federal agencies.

Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Monitoring Program includes an integrated set of components that together provide a comprehensive assessment of water quality conditions. This set of water quality and habitat indicators includes:

  • physical/chemical properties,

  • nutrient limitation of algal growth,

  • ecosystem processes,

  • river inputs of nutrients and sediments,

  • phytoplankton,

  • zooplankton, and

  • benthic organisms.

The design, analysis and interpretation of each component of the program addresses three objectives:

  • Characterize existing conditions

  • Detect changes and trends in key water quality variables in response to management actions

  • Determine attainment or non-attainment of water quality criteria

  • Understanding processes of how the Bay ecosystem functions as it relates to anthropogenic and natural stresses, management actions, and relationships between water quality and living resources

Monitoring for Management Actions is now available electronically. This 1987 publication is the first report from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Program and includes information on the basic design and objectives of the Program, which became the foundation for the current Program. It created the strategy for implementing the Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Program to provide State managers and policy makers with accurate, timely and comprehensive information about the Bay's existing condition, how the Bay is responding to management initiatives and how progress towards Bay protection and restoration were to be measured.

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